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Birds and Shores

Take a stroll through the shores of the coastal Northwest

Protecting our birds and improving their homes

We will be renovating our alcids (tufted puffins, rhinoceros auklets, common murres) habitat starting September 12. During renovations those birds will be temporarily moved behind the scenes. Guests can still visit the shorebird habitat during renovation.

To protect our birds from any risk of bird flu, we may ask you to give them a little extra distance.

This beautiful open-air exhibit highlights habitats along the rough and rocky shorelines of Puget Sound, and the many species of birds that can be found there. As you walk through it, you’ll have a chance to closely observe the daily routines of many species of often-reclusive birds. And, because the exhibit is open to the air, you’ll also be able to breathe in the scent of Puget Sound, just outside, and feel the fresh breeze on your face.

The habitats on display offer you a chance to learn how shorebirds use their unique features to live and thrive together. You can watch as alcids make their signature dives, laugh at the busy antics of tufted puffins, and see common murres dipping below the surface to search for food along the exhibit’s jagged bottom. Above the waterline are rocky cliffs where the birds can burrow or nest in small caves or narrow ledges, just as they would in the wild during breeding months.

In addition to birds, this exhibit is also home to many species of fish and invertebrates found in Northwest shoreline habitats, including rockfish, sea anemones, sea stars, sea urchins and others.

Common Murre

These diving birds are able to plunge up to 350–400 feet.

Other Exhibits

Salmon fry
Salmon

Seasonally, salmon make their way from the open ocean to freshwater—most often, the streams in which they were born—to spawn. It’s an amazing journey…

Clown fish in anemone
Tropical Pacific

Take a trip to the beautiful waters of the tropical Pacific.

Diver with wolf eel
Window on Washington Waters

Take a dive into Washington's coastal waters.